With storm clouds rumbling overhead, my fifth and final White Lodge Summer Fair was an eventful day. It seemed more hectic than previous years, perhaps because for the first time we had to accomplish a partial ‘wet weather plan’. We danced on an outdoor surface set up on the lawn. The sideways rake is challenging to say the least, then add in strong wind gusts and the occasional drop of rain … !
In the first performance I danced the ‘Sunflower Slow Drag’ from Elite Syncopations. We will be performing excerpts from this vibrant, quirky and swift MacMillan ballet at our Graduation performance in two weeks time.
Our costumes were of bright, shiny lycra and the audience seemed to enjoy watching us almost as much as we did performing for them. There was a moment of distraction, however, as all eyes were drawn to the Royal Airforce Red Arrows overhead, returning to base following their fly by of Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour ceremony.
A sudden downpour before the second performance caused it to be moved to the Margot Fonteyn Studio Theatre. We had to keep fingers crossed for spacing. However, I preferred the unique sensation of performing this contemporary choreography on a stage, with lights enhancing the dancers whilst the audience observed silently in the darkness. Unfortunately my family were not issued tickets for the limited seating, so I have no photos of this piece to post.
The third performance commenced under threatening skies, but we just managed to complete the 30 minute programme before the rain came down once more. Our year group danced ‘Cataract Rag’, a second piece from Elite Syncopations.
As always, it was a fun day. A shame about the weather, but the show did go on. It was good to see some familiar faces as well as some important ones; Kevin O’Hare and Edward Watson amongst others.
Saving the best for last, below are some fabulous photos taken by Cheryl Angear, who has been a wonderful mentor to me over the past twelve months and who I now consider a friend – thank you Cheryl.